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PBA D-League: Rising Suns burn Icons

By: - Reporter / @MarkGiongcoINQ
/ 03:14 PM March 25, 2013

Jason Melano fights his way against Alvyn Cabonce and Cedric Ablaza. PBA D-LEAGUE IMAGES / NUKI SABIO

MANILA, Philippines – Informatics had been giving teams a tough time but not Monday against Cagayan Valley.

The Rising Suns zoomed to an early lead en route to a 98-56 whipping of the Icons Monday in the PBA D-League Foundation Cup at the FilOil Flying V Arena in San Juan.

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“Nag-click lang outside shots ng mga players and plus factor din na nagawa nila agad yung defensive game plan namin,” said Cagayan coach Alvin Pua.

The Suns, who made it to the finals in the last conference before getting swept by perennial champion NLEX, squandered a commanding lead in their heart-breaking 85-89 setback at the hands of the Blackwater Sports Elite last week but with that in mind, another collapse wasn’t even close to happening this time.

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“Kumpiyansa mga players ko ngayon dahil nga nag-finals kami last time pero ang problema sa sobrang kumpiyansa nagre-relax sila,” added Pua. “Pero hindi na talaga pwedeng mangyari ulit yon ngayon.”

Cagayan didn’t even need its main guys to play heavy minutes to dominate the game with James Forrester and Chris Exciminiano playing less than 20 minutes.

Forrester led the way with 17 points, five rebounds and four assists in just 16 minutes while Exciminiano added 14 points, four assists and three steals in 18 minutes.

The Suns (1-1) face a tough schedule ahead but Pua remains confident that his team can come through as long as it starts strong and shows good ball movement – just like what it did Monday with 26 assists on 32 made field goals.

Apart from its fluid offense, Cagayan also locked in defensively as it held Informatics’ offensive weapons Moncrief Rogado and Jeric Teng to a poor outing.

Rogado shot just 13 points on five-of-15 shooting from the floor while Teng, who has emerged as the Icons’ topscorer in their first two games, scored just 10 – missing all his four attempts from deep for a woeful three-of-13 shooting with three turnovers.

The Suns are practically a different team from last conference without their starting center Raymond Almazan, who now plays for EA Regen. “Kapag nawalan ka ng 6-7, 6-8 center, factor ’yon.”

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It hardly showed Monday though, with a 56-35 rebounding edge. Mark Bringas and John Montemayor had 10 and 11 boards, respectively. Bringas also had 11 points.

“Pero ganyan talaga buhay coach, mag-a-adjust na lang ako. Umaasa pa rin ako sa mga beterano ko tulad ni Bringas,” said Pua, who will have to make another adjustment to his lineup soon.

“Baka hanggang ngayong April 1 na lang siya kasi baka hindi na siya payagan ng Arellano. Kami naman dito sa Cagayan di naman kami magpipigil bahala na sa bata yun kung ano yung desisyon.”

Informatics, which shot just below 30% from the field, dropped to 0-3 after losing its first two outings in overtime.

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